«Slash & Burn» is the result of four years of photography and exploration of forest Finnish areas with special emphasis on the Finn forest. Terje Abusdal (b. 1978) is a trained visual artist and photographer and works in the intersection between fact and fiction.
Abusdal is based on the forest Finnish understanding of nature and especially the shamanistic and mysterious aspects of it. The forest Finns farmed, where they cut down and burned forests and sowed in the ashes, this is called in English slash and burn, hence the title. The photographs also depict what it means to be a forest fin today, four hundred years and thus twelve generations after the Finnish immigrants settled. In our time, the original way of life has long since disappeared and no one speaks the Finnish language anymore. But the forest Finns are one of five historical immigration groups that from 1999 have the status of national minority in Norway. They settled in 40 municipalities in Eastern Norway and today more than half a million Norwegians can have forest Finnish genes in their lineage - most without knowing it. The Finnish forest culture as it was in the 17th century naturally no longer exists. Nevertheless, more and more people feel a sense of belonging to the culture.